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Download We the People: An Introduction to American Politics by Benjamin Ginsberg, Theodore J. Lowi, Margaret Weir, Caroline PDF

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By Benjamin Ginsberg, Theodore J. Lowi, Margaret Weir, Caroline J. Tolbert, Robert J. Spitzer

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Of course, the central government under the Articles of Confederation was powerless to intervene. Similarly, the Pennsylvania government engaged in land redistribution, to the chagrin of property owners. The Annapolis Convention Was Key to Calling a National Convention The continuation of international weakness and domestic economic turmoil led many Americans to consider whether their newly adopted form of government might not already require revision. In the fall of 1786, many state leaders accepted an invitation from the Virginia legislature for a conference of representatives of all the states, to be held in Annapolis, Maryland.

Shays's Rebellion Showed How Weak the Government Was It is quite possible that the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia would never have taken place at all except for a single event that occurred during the winter following the Annapolis Convention: Shays's Rebellion. Daniel Shays, a former army captain, led a mob of farmers in a rebellion against the government of Massachusetts, which had levied heavy taxes against them. The purpose of the rebellion was to prevent foreclosures on farmers' debt-ridden land by keeping the county courts of western Massachusetts from sitting until after the next election.

And while the pre-Revolutionary elite was weakened, the 34 CHAPTER 2 THE FOUNDING AND T HE CONST ITUT I ON pre-Revolutionary radicals were better organized than ever and now controlled such states as Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, where they pursued economic and political policies that struck terror into the hearts of the pre-Revolutionary political establishment. In Rhode Island, for example, between 1783 and 1785, a legislature dominated by representatives of small farmers, artisans, and shopkeepers had instituted economic policies, including drastic currency inflation, that frightened business and property owners throughout the country.

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